Clark Wins Satchmo Award!!!

The Board of Directors of the Louis Armstrong Educational Foundation voted recently for Clark to be the recipient of this year’s prestigious “Satchmo Award,” which includes a $5,000 check. When I shared this exciting news with Clark, he was ecstatic. He had tears in his eyes, and I did, too.

After a few moments, he said, “I appreciate each and every person who voted for me, out of all of the musicians in the world. This is such a beautiful honor. I’m humbled and very, very grateful. God bless them all, and God bless Pops (Louis Armstrong’s nickname).”

Clark wearing his foundation shirt, sharing his joy with a wave to everyone.
(Photo: Quincy Cavers)

According to a letter from the foundation’s president, Stanley Crouch, “this award was created as a tribute to the life and legacy of Louis Armstrong and his passion for jazz and excellence matched only by his joyous love of life and children.”

Clark said, “I’ve always loved Pops. Always. He was a true jazz pioneer. Phenomenal musician, and a beautiful man. I feel like he’s up there smiling down on me, and I want to thank him for starting this whole foundation scene. The folks down there in New Orleans are doing a beautiful job with his jazz camp each year. I’ve played there many times. Real talented kids, and a serious bunch of people teaching our music. They’re keeping the flame burning the way Pops would like.”

As we sat together, discussing the award, Clark said, “I know Pheobe (Jacobs) is up there smiling down, too. She was a real mover and shaker. Hard worker in our corner for jazz. Helped Pops a whole lot. I miss her.” Phoebe served as Executive Vice President of the foundation for many years.

The Louis Armstrong House Museum in Corona, New York, holds some dear memories for Clark. On page 248 in his autobiography, he wrote: “It (Clark’s teaching session with students from William Paterson University) reminded me of the ‘50’s when Dizzy and I used to go over to Pops’ house, Louis Armstrong, you know. We would say, ‘Let’s go bug Pops and get our batteries charged!’ That was our way of saying that we wanted to learn from him. He was usually typing something on his old typewriter. Peck, peck, peck. We’d hang around listening to him telling stories about his career. A lot of dirty stories, but all of them great stories.

A ceremony is being planned by the foundation to officially present the Satchmo Award to Clark. Previous recipients were Herb Alpert in 2010, and Barry Harris in 2011.

For more information about The Louis Armstrong Educational Foundation, Inc., and other Louis Armstrong organizations, please click here:

Clark is getting stronger since his surgery in July of this year, under the care of Dr. Jonathan Laryea at the University of Arkansas Medical Sciences (UAMS) hospital in Little Rock. There have been no new health challenges. Thank God!

Clark said, “When I left UAMS, I prayed for Big Prez (his nickname for God) to let me ride on some smooth waters, for a change. And it looks like things have cooled out. You know I’m thankful for that.” He went on to say, “Never did I imagine that a month or so later, He’d bless me with a Satchmo Award! That has put some new wind in my sails.”

He’s doing his daily exercises and his spirit remains high. Currently, he’s able to sit in his wheelchair for a few hours each day. He’s working hard to increase his time out of bed, getting closer to his goal of teaching via Skype. His students continue to fly in for lessons, either from his bedside or his wheelchair.

We appreciate your prayers, visits, cards, letters, website posts, calls and donations so much. Everyone here is working hard to provide Clark with the 24-hour care that he needs. His appetite is strong, and he’s determined to “keep on keepin’ on.” Please keep him in your prayers.

Blessings and love,

| happenings | 19 Comments

19 Responses to Clark Wins Satchmo Award!!!

  1. says:

    God bless you and Happy Thanksgiving! I think of you often and know many others do as well. Hope all is well with you and your family.

  2. John Lamb says:

    Love to you Clark !!! Lambone

  3. Brett Chambers says:

    Blessing to you C.T. and Ms. Gwen.
    I’m so happy to read about you receiving the award. Awards will never be enough to show you how much we all appreciate your spirit, and generosity of your gift. Your spirit is felt, and heard in your playing. I always enjoy seeing, and hearing you play, live, or recorded. I share your performances with my students(mostly not music students), to show them that when you do what you love, it comes through all that you do.
    I purchased your new book to share with some young folks. I’m going to buy a few more, as young people need to understand the journey is the destination.

  4. Boaz Kim says:

    Clark Terry and Gwen,
    So glad that you both are doing well! Can’t wait to hear new recordings from you. I found a video of Clark on youtube demonstrating a new Selmer trumpet in France. I’m sure it would put a smile on your faces.

  5. Shireen Mehta (Homi's daughter) says:

    Clark: I still remember sitting on your lap as a little 5 year old girl & feeling as if nothing could ever hurt me again, that your lap was the safest place on the world. I felt that way every time I saw you until the last time when I was about 21 yes old. I am now 50. I only have the best memories in the world of you. Even though I haven’t spoken to you n a LONG time, I still think of you & Gwen every single day. It breaks my heart to tell you that my dad, Homi (The Screw) passed Nov 2, 2007 from hospital complications in Texas while visiting Dina and her family. Our whole family was there with him. He went with no pain & in peace. I do have Skype and would love to hear your or Gwen’s voice once again. I miss you dearly. You’ve been part of my life for almost all my life. Take care, my dear, dear friends. Shireen Mehta (Homi, The Screw’s. daughter).

  6. Chip says:

    Hi Clark,

    Spend the $5K on somethin’ fun!

  7. "CuZZy Mo" -aka Cousin Mona says:

    Soooooooo very pleased that you are feeling better in body and spirits. This award is only a small gesture compared to what you deserve, but what a honor! Congrats Cuzzy, soak it up, breathe it in and always remember how much you are cherished and loved…..Mona and the gang

  8. Jess says:

    Congratulations! Been a big fan for a long time. You totally deserve it. Well done.

    Love Jess

  9. Mike and Zoe Johnston says:

    Dear Clark and Gwen,

    Zoe and I wish we could pop down to visit both of you. It’s great to read that the sailing has been somewhat smooth lately. You both deserve nothing but the best this world has to offer.

    We were pretty down after work and all the debate news. We turned off the television, put your music on, and our troubles were erased! You recharge our batteries and warm our hearts all the time.

    My sister still uses her “secret weapon” at her daycare gig. Your music instantly cheers up and focuses kids of all ages.

    Our entire family loves both of you (madly). K.O.K.O.!!!

  10. Joanne Nottingham says:

    Godfather Clark, it’s wonderful to know that you have been getting stronger! Congratulations and then some on the “Satchmo” award!! You and Daddy always liked to try his style out… way back in the day (the 50’s)… I remember!
    I’m glad Big Prez loves you do much! My love to you and Gwen, and all those you hold dear! Joanne Nottingham

  11. Congratulations! Best wishes from Kim and Morgan in Hawaii. I’m listening to McCoy Tyner Live at Newport right now and want to say thanks for all the pleasure you have given us through your gift, and for sharing your knowledge with the next generation.
    Vive la Jazz!

  12. Neil Rosengarden says:

    This is nice to see. Clark… you deserve this great award. Thanks for being you.

  13. Cliff McMurray says:

    Hey Cee Tee,

    Great news, Congrats!! I know Pops meant alot to you. So Glad you’re getting stronger each day. Our thoughts and prayers are with you always. Love to you and Gwen.

    Wheels and family

  14. Robin Lloyd says:

    How absolutely wonderful! Congratulations, CT! You deserve it. And it’s great to hear you’re getting better and better. Love to you and Gwen…

  15. Al Cunningham says:

    No one is more deserving! Thrilled to see that you’re gaining strength, have a good appetite, and have had no new challenges lately. A very close friend is teaching in Pine Bluff, and I hope to get over to see you all! You’re always in my prayers. . .

  16. mc says:

    I’m so happy for you about the award and the good health. I think about you both everyday when I practice on the horn.

    very very best wishes to you two and you loved ones!

  17. Michael "Migueligans" Miller says:

    Yay, Clark!!! To so many of us on this earth, you are a super-hero. And, clearly, many of those no longer on this earth (like “Pops”) feel the same way. Your tireless passion for sharing your wizardry so far & wide continues to astound me. Your batteries just never seem to run out. In short, you truly are the Enerjazzer Bunny!!!

    Sending much, much love to you and Gwen…

    Michael Miller

  18. Dwight E. Moore says:

    Congrats Mr. Terry for the well-deserved award!! Thank You Sir, for all you have contributed to Jazz and music in general. I had the honor of receiving your autograph backstage at the Lawton Jazz Fest in 1981 in Lawton,Oklahoma and I still have it and treasure it highly.
    Mr. Terry I hope you are doing well health-wise and your family also; I will keep you in my prayers sir.

  19. A Lamar (Gambini) Gamble says:

    Hey Clark man how are you. You probably have forgotten me over the years, I was introduced to by Martin Banks while I worked with him at Disney World some years ago. Brother you know I am very proud of you sir. You were my enthusiast and motivational tool while I studied music at Florida A & M University. The Louis Armstrong Educational Foundation Award is such an honor of many accolades in your life sir. My father was also a big fan of yours, made sure I had most of your work in my collection. On that note when I witness you playing that flugal horn of yours upside down as a young trumpet player made me practice even harder. I got my degree and several others thanks to men like you sir. On that note I not going to trouble you with all this stuff, I do remember one tip you gave me while I was playing in a band at Disney, it was on how to handle the ride folder. Put the work in now son and everything will flow smooth just like playing a scale to the 5th and jumping to 7th and 8th and back down again over and over. Practicing and techniques good better, that help to become a pretty good jazz trumpeter and trumpet player overall. I will never forget working with Lionel Hampton who performed with the Florida A & M University Marching Band, I had the lead on Flying Home and Air Mail Special,he ask where did I get that style and said Clark Terry, his response “Ok that brother is a bad man” Thanks Mr. Terry for all you’ve done to inspire me in my life your are truly God Blessed sir Thank you so much. Get well soon so you can get at it again. A Lamar Gamble.